SEQUIM — Throughout the holidays, Sheba was on the Peninsula Woods Diet.
She lost close to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but that wasn’t a good thing.
Sheba had vanished into the woods around Port Angeles, and her owner, Ellen McLean of Sequim, nearly lost hope of ever seeing her again.
Now that Sheba has come back — from the dead, it seems — the McLean household is happy again, save one qualification.
More on that later.
The shepherd-collie cross had been McLean’s companion for almost seven years. She adopted Sheba from Vicki Lebuis of Port Angeles, after Lebuis discovered the dog’s intensely shy temperament.
“She needed to be with an elderly couple,” Lebuis said.
McLean’s chronically ill husband, Phillips, lives at Sherwood Manor, so she wished for a dog — and when she showed up to see Sheba, Lebuis knew it was a perfect match.
When the dog disappeared early on the morning of Nov. 15, both women descended into despair.
The night before, McLean had gone into the hospital with severe abdominal pain, so she called Lebuis. The two had kept in touch as McLean updated Lebuis on Sheba’s welfare.
Both adored the dog, a pretty but shy creature who seemed afraid of almost everything, especially men and noises.
When McLean had to stay overnight at the hospital, Lebuis took Sheba to her home, despite the dog’s obvious fear of the other people and animals there.
The next morning, Lebuis’ cat spooked Sheba, who ran off into the woods so fast that Lebuis couldn’t catch her.
As soon as McLean was released, she learned her dog was gone.“I felt horrible,” recalled Lebuis.